Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

MORNING REPORT

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, news services and the nation's press.

November 04, 1998|Shauna Snow

ENTERTAINMENT

'Belly' Flops With Magic: Saying that the content and marketing of music video director Hype Williams' feature film debut, "Belly," has "raised concerns about the film's overwhelmingly negative and violent depictions of African Americans, as well as its potential to create disruptive situations for our theaters," Magic Johnson Theaters in Baldwin Park has opted not to book the movie, about two childhood friends growing up on the streets of New York (see review, above). Artisan Entertainment, which is releasing the film nationwide today, called the movie "an honest portrayal of urban life" and said, "While we respect the concern of theater owners as it relates to possible violence, we hope these matters do not eclipse the positive message of 'Belly.' " Director Williams, however, was less diplomatic, saying in a statement: "Censoring this film is akin to turning a blind eye to what's happening in today's cities. And I find it incredibly cynical to stereotype the film's audience by assuming they will act disruptively and even violently." Magic Johnson Theaters, the country's premier African American-owned theater company, said its decision was "based on our obligation to our patrons to provide . . . an excellent theater experience."

*

A Word to Her Listeners: Without commenting specifically on a Los Angeles federal judge's decision Monday to lift a restraining order on the release of 12 nude photos of her taken by a former lover in 1975, Dr. Laura Schlessinger told her national radio audience Tuesday that "it isn't news to my longtime listeners and those who read my books that I have undergone profound changes . . . the most important of which is my journey from atheist to observant Jew. In my 20s, I was my own moral authority. The inadequacy of that way of life is painfully obvious today." Schlessinger, whose noon-3 p.m. show on KFI-AM (640) focuses on moral and ethical advice, also challenged "one specific allegation that is not true"--that the pictures were taken while she was still married. Instead, Schlessinger, now 51, said she had already filed for divorce prior to her relationship, at age 28, with talk radio pioneer Bill Ballance, who sold the pictures to Seattle's Internet Entertainment Group, which has posted them on its Web site. "I am mystified as to why, 23 years later, this 80-year-old man would do such a morally reprehensible thing," she told listeners.

*

Carrie Fisher in Rehab: Actress and writer Carrie Fisher has voluntarily checked into an unspecified detoxification program for an addiction to prescription drugs, her spokeswoman said late Monday. Fisher, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds, realized she had a problem shortly after undergoing recent dental surgery, the spokeswoman said, adding that the trouble came from "the combination of the prescribed medication required for [her preexisting] manic depression and the pain medication prescribed to her recently from getting dental implants." Fisher previously underwent drug rehab in 1985, with that stay inspiring her best-selling novel "Postcards From the Edge," which became a hit movie.

*

Peggy Lee Hospitalized: Grammy-winning singer Peggy Lee, 78, was in stable condition in the intensive care unit at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday after suffering a stroke Oct. 27. "She's conscious and her family has been with her," said Lee's daughter, Nicki Lee Foster, who added that doctors were trying to determine whether the stroke caused permanent damage. Lee, a diabetic, has been plagued by health problems in recent years, and underwent a double heart bypass surgery in 1985.

QUICK TAKES

Ted Danson's new CBS series, "Becker," drew a respectable 13.8 million viewers in its premiere Monday night, but still finished fourth in its time slot, behind the hit NBC miniseries "The Temptations," ABC's "Monday Night Football" and Fox's "Ally McBeal." . . . Celine Dion's first American network TV special, "These Are Special Times," will air Nov. 25 on CBS. Meanwhile, Dion's new video, the R. Kelly duet "I'm Your Angel," premieres on the network tonight at 8:56, following the conclusion of "Maggie Winters."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|